Sitting at my seat, 48B, on Air China enroute to Beijing, I feel like I just woke up from a dream. A dream that I’ve never dare to dream before. Or if I did, it was definitely dreaming the impossible.
Every year, I would travel to a new country or place, for my birthday. For the past few years, I’ve done Krabi, Bali, 4 cities in India in 9 days and this year is New York. The cheapest way for me to do it was from KL – Hong Kong(AirAsia) – Beijing – NYC. I even had to sleep 1 night in Hong Kong and Beijing airport for this trip! Call me cheap but that’s the sacrifice I’ve to make! I guess all the traveling on AirAsia flights backpacking in ASEAN countries helped me to prepare for this trip.
Now I’ve got questions in my head – Did I actually land in JFK International airport, New York 10 days ago? Did I really walk thru the famous Broadway Ave at 42nd street? Was that a reality that I was on the top of the famous Rockefeller Plaza with the view of New York City in front of me and watched the sun went down? Was I really in Disney World, dancing with the crew in front of the Magic Kingdom Castle ? Did I really take pictures of the Ground Zero and Statue of Liberty with my own camera?
Oh yes I was there alright and I did all that together with so much more other activities. It is not easy for me to write this down as every single thing I did was a new experience and every single one of it was emotional. Very emotional indeed.
After 2 years of planning since I got my visa, 5 months waiting period from the moment I got the tickets, and 36 hours traveling altogether from Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong to Beijing, I made it to the USA. And the 10 days were the most amazing moments of my life. 10 days x 24 hours = 240 hours of amazing moments!! Imagine that!
Standing at the sidewalk at Times Square watching the busy streets of New York and the yellow cabs, and at the Broadway Ave looking at all the colorful billboards and the beautiful lights, taking pictures with the NYPD guys that we’ve always seen on TV , approached by the guys who sells tickets to broadway shows is something that I didn’t dream of.
Going up to 67th floor of Rockefeller Plaza, or they call it as “Top of The Rock”‘ took my breath away. I could see the whole of NYC, the river, the bridges and all the buildings including the famous Empire State Building.At times, when I was there, I felt my heart might have stopped beating and I stopped breathing for a while trying to pause the moment, wishing time would stop. Especially during sunset.
The river cruise. Yes, the river cruise along Hudson river was beautiful. A 75mnts cruise from Pier 76 all the way down ( or maybe up) to the ever grand Statue of Liberty allowed me to see NYC from the side view. All the famous buildings and the towers. A picture perfect view.
Then, there was this “unplanned” 14hours drive from NYC all the way down to Florida. Yes! We drove down to Florida, headed to Disney World, WHERE DREAMS COME TRUE. It was a scary thought thinking of the very long drive but it turned out really, really well ; allowing me sometime to think, reflect, learn and be grateful with life. I’ve travelled a long way to get here, through out the journey from Malaysia and the journey of my life. And I know, all these things happened for a reason. I don’t have an explanation to it yet, but I am hoping for more good things to happen!
Then there it was. Disney World right in front of my eyes. Still remember clearly, upon purchasing the tickets to Magic Kingdom, the friendly lady found out that it was my birthday and my 1st visit. She gave me a “Happy Birthday” badge , and for the rest of the day everyone that I met wished me Happy Birthday! There was also this guy who plays the piano, saw me thru the reflection of his piano, and started singing me a birthday song!
Well, at 37 years old, it is amazing to experience all these and I just could not stop smiling until now thinking of it. I guess this is the place that I’ve always wanted to visit. ALWAYS. NYC trip on my birthday is already great, but the Disney World trip was awesome.Beyond words to describe my feeling.
The 10 days birthday trip made me do a lot of thinking and self reflection. There are certain things in life that we have control on. We could plan, choose and decide which one is the best for us. But there are also things that it is definitely out of our control, unexpected and unplanned things that happened along the way , and the feelings that we have when we go through it.
As usual for all my trips, I didn’t expect much out of it. I look forward to new things, to learn, to experience and to enjoy the moments and this trip definitely goes right to the top of my list! A perfect combination of all!
I’m glad and thankful that I’ve managed to do all the above, and the experience was just awesome.
The feeling ? Definitely like falling in love….
It is true what they say, ” it’s not about the number of breaths we take. It’s about the number of moments that take our breaths away”
And let’s just say that I was breathless during the 10 days trip.
Not sure whether I’m heading back there again but I do hope AirAsia does coz I sure look forward to that!
On behalf of Safina Alfian Yusof